What Is a Waterfall Edge Countertop?

C.E. Larusso
Written by C.E. Larusso
Updated January 7, 2022
wood kitchen with marble waterfall counter
Photo: bmak / Adobe Stock


  • A waterfall countertop extends all the way down to the ground.

  • If you’re using natural stone, expect to pay $1,000–$2,000 extra for a fabricator.

  • They’re traditionally made from natural stone, such as granite or marble.

  • Waterfall countertops can also be installed as bathroom vanities.

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If you’ve got the budget to afford a kitchen or bathroom decked out in stunning natural stone, you might want to consider the trendy but timeless design of a waterfall edge countertop. An elegant way to show off your granite, marble, or travertine, a waterfall edge countertop offers extra durability and easy maintenance, in addition to being a serious conversation starter. Read on to learn everything you need to know about waterfall edge countertops and why you might want to install one in your home.

How to Recognize a Waterfall Edge Countertop

A waterfall countertop is a countertop that doesn’t have a horizontal endpoint. Instead, the waterfall extends from the top of the kitchen island, bathroom vanity, cabinet, or peninsula, all the way to the ground, making a full bracket shape of countertop material

The decision to install a waterfall edge countertop is largely for aesthetic reasons. Some homeowners like the drama of the waterfall edge and love it as a way to showcase a higher-end material, such as granite or marble. Practically, however, it can also be used to hide stools, small chairs, or even appliances.

Cost of a Waterfall Edge Countertop

beige kitchen with marble island countertop
Photo: bmak / Adobe Stock

The cost of a waterfall edge countertop is largely dictated by the material you wish the countertop to be made of and how much area you wish to cover.

For reference, here are the average cost of countertop materials:

  • Granite: $15–$140 per square foot

  • Soapstone: $20–$70 per square foot

  • Marble: $25–$60 per square foot

  • Slate: $30–$90 per square foot

  • Travertine: $11–$40 per square foot

  • Concrete: $50–$100 per square foot

  • Stainless steel: $60–$100 per square foot

  • Wood: $20–$40 per square foot

Whether a waterfall edge or traditional, the labor cost to install a countertop will run you $15 to $30 per square foot. In addition, if you choose a natural stone material, expect to shell out an additional fee for special fabricating; the fabricator must use a computer numerical control (CNC) laser cutter to miter the edges of the waterfall edge so they lay together without a visible seam. This will add an extra $1,000 to $2,000 to your final bill. 

Pros of a Waterfall Edge Countertop

Here are the reasons you might wish to spend the extra cash to install a waterfall edge countertop in your home.

  • Statement piece: Any piece of furniture with a waterfall edge countertop will make a bold statement piece in your home and will likely serve as the focal point for whatever room it’s in.

  • Durability: The waterfall countertop design limits the number of corners you, your kids, pets, or guests can bump into, causing less damage to your countertop (and them).

Simple maintenance: Without extra grooves, seams, and corners, the waterfall countertop is less prone to dirt buildup and easier to clean.

Cons of a Waterfall Edge Countertop

If you’re on the fence about a waterfall edge, consider these cons before making a final decision.

  • Cost: As noted above, a waterfall edge countertop will cost significantly more than a traditional countertop, given the added materials and labor involved.

  • Connectivity: If you desire an outlet on your kitchen island or cabinet, it might be difficult with a waterfall edge countertop, depending on the material being used. Speak to your local kitchen countertop contractor to determine what’s possible. 

  • Time: Since a waterfall edge countertop is a more complicated, custom design, the construction time will be longer than a traditional countertop. If you’re looking to complete your kitchen remodel in a hurry, this dramatic piece might not be the best choice.

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